Matias Klarwein was born on the 9th of April 1932 in Hamburg, Germany. His father Joseph (born Yusef Ben Menachem), was an architect working with the Bauhaus movement and his mother Elsa (born Elsa Kühne), was an opera singer. Mati emigrated with his parents to Israel (then Palestine) in 1934. During the formation of the new Israel, his father won the competition to construct the parliament building: the Knesset in Tel Aviv
At the age of 17, Mati moved to Paris with his mother where he studied painting at the Academie Julian, the Beaux Arts, as well as with Fernand Leger (1949-51) and Ernst Fuchs (1952-54) with whom he learned the mixed technique of the 16th century Flemish school. He made several other fundamental friendships in France with such personalities as Kitty Lillaz, Boris Vian, and Salvador Dali. Mati obtained French nationality in 1965 with the help of Mrs. André Malraux.
Mati Klarwein’s best known paintings are ‘Annunciation’, which was chosen for the cover of Santana’s album ‘Abraxas’, and the painting used by Miles Davis for his cover ‘Bitches Brew’ – also reproduced for Absolut Vodka’s ad campaign. His artwork has been widely shown in galleries in New York, Paris, and all over Spain. Mati’s most unique installation was the Aleph Sanctuary, a cubic room comprised of 68 paintings including the ‘Tree of Life’ requiring a guard at its entrance in the Museum of Art in Santa Barbara, California. During his last years, he had major retrospective shows in Madrid, Barcelona, Palma and Cadiz.